It was the end of July when the Government launched a survey (with little fanfare) about plans for a new ‘management body’ which will look after England’s publicly owned woods. On 1st August the Woodland Trust received an invitation from the Forestry Commission’s Directorate to take part in the consultation as a stakeholder.
Juggling meetings, discussions and summer holidays means we spent August catching up with key contacts in the FC and Defra to discuss the proposals. Throughout August, one thing became really clear to us – before we put pen to paper we need to make sure we get your views on the important issues this survey raises; such as what you think the new body should and shouldn’t do?
The survey looks at areas such as governance of the estate, money issues and what the new body needs to actually ‘do’ for our woods. We have crunched down the lengthy version of the survey to a simple poll that we would like to invite you to complete, because it will be your response that will help to shape the Woodland Trust’s answer as a stakeholder. We will also include your personal views as part of our response.
We are asking you to do this because you made Government re-think, you in your thousands put woods back on to the political agenda when it really mattered and you are the voice behind why your woods need to continue to thrive and remain free to be enjoyed. Let’s keep that focus for Government.
Our poll will close one week before the survey ends in order to enable us to include your views in our response. We will also continue to promote the Government’s survey until it closes and when you take the Woodland Trust poll, you will be invited to go to the link to the bigger survey on the Forestry Commission’s website if you want to. This is because we know many of you have thought long and hard since the sales were halted and will have the detail and forethought the Government needs to understand what’s needed for our woodland across England.
By standing together we show a mass movement that will give a clear direction. By taking a second step and sharing the detail of your thoughts, great ideas will (we hope) become a reality.
After years of debate since the sell-off plans were halted, this is a glimpse into the possible future for England’s publicly owned woods. But do you agree?
You have until September 18th to tell us what you think and make the future clear for woods and trees.
For those who want to see a little more detail into our current thinking, please read Our View. Thanks for your support!